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U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D

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20 comments posted
AWESOME

AWESOME!!!,
Since I never watched the original series, for me, Next Generation was always the starting point in the star trek universe.

Love this toy, I want one!!!!!

optimuscarlos's picture
Posted by optimuscarlos on 14 December, 2010 - 10:06
Great phrase choices

I wasn't even thinking about getting this until you mentioned that "Tea: Earl Grey-Hot" was one of the phrases. Now I might consider it. Betweent this and Galactus, sound chips are getting better and better.

atom smasher's picture
Posted by atom smasher on 14 December, 2010 - 10:18
EVA you are usually 100%

EVA you are usually 100% right with all your research and comments, but this paragraph there's a bunch of stuff that is incorrect. Keep in mind I am not much of a ST fan and I may be wrong on some small details.

"(Ironically, I never got the chance to see TOS with my own eyes until 2009!).
That is a crime man. I hope you liked them.

Then, despite average ratings for the films (it was really a niche market they were aiming for, after all…),

The Star Trek films of the 70's-80's were not aimed at a "niche market" - TNG (especially after it's 3-4 season) was... Star Trek II - IV were each in the Top 10 grossing films the years they came out. Top 10 successes with everyone, not just ST fans. These were films aimed squarely at the same general public as the 2010 film. And the awesome/bad Star Trek V - which is today considered a "bomb" and is often refered to as a failure - was a big financial and merch success. Even ST:TMP - again a "bomb" - made a huge profit for Paramount, even despite combining $20million from the aborted "Phase II" TV budget. It was the 4th most successful film of 1979! The "average" ratings you refer to are the reviews of the day, and modern reviews... not what was going on back in the day at all!

series creator Gene Roddenberry got his second shot in 1986 to do it right with “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. With a far larger television budget this time, and the unusual advantage of already having a ravenous pre-established cult fan-base in place, Roddenberry was able to finally express his ideas to a larger audience.

He actually got his "2nd shot" in the 70's with "Phase II" (look it up there's lots of cool info out there) - and the film series that followed. The TNG show only happened because of STIV's incredible success, and the small budget-to-big-profit ratio that the previous three features had. Even the set costs of TNG were to be folded into STV's budget if the show failed. STV even re-uses a lot of the sets and props of TNG. This went further into sharing actors and more props with STVI...

He had been playing with this larger audience since 1979, and TNG was, again, more a result of ST's incredible popularity, than something like what you say a "furor created by the show." TNG was the result of the movies success, not the other way around.

...Star Trek as a whole, unfortunately, has never been quite able to reclaim the pop culture status it enjoyed during the run of TNG…

I beg to differ man. TOS was a pop-culture smash in the 60's, and especially into the 70's, far more popular with the general public and children than TNG was. It spawned a pop culture phenomenon on a scale that TNG never could compete with- millions of model kits in the 60's-70's... millions and millions sold. Also the show pretty much jump-started the entire TV syndication market into overdrive in the mid-70's. While I wasn't alive in the 60's I know plenty of over 50 guys who have been hardcore fans since the 60's.

TNG was - and still is - one of the highest rated cable shows of all time... it's 90's and current pop culture status is much more with comic and SF fans than with the general public.

It's definitely an age thing- ask anyone under 30 and TNG is their experience, over 30, TOS is theirs.

Sorry for another long comment, but it's important that you know that TNG is not the only "success" in the series, and was much more aimed at the traditional ST nerd "niche" audience, and as far as making money and public awareness, didn't even come close to the pop culture phenom of Spock and his ears. How many Picard bald caps did you see for Halloween? ;)

Keep these ship reviews coming!

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 14 December, 2010 - 14:10
Don't Forget

Also don't forget that between the original Star Trek TV show and the movies there was the Star Trek cartoon that aired for a couple of years featuring almost all of the original actors playing the voices of their characters.

Ginrai's picture
Posted by Ginrai on 14 December, 2010 - 14:18
Re: EVA you are usually 100%

I was surprised how good some of the TOS episodes were- occasional good drama and action despite the unavoidable cheapness and cheese of the series at-large.

I understand that the films were all successful in their own rights at the time of their release. If they hadn't been, they would've stopped making them!
When writing this, I was more concerned keeping focus on how TNG came to be, rather than the franchise at large. I know that "Phase II" was the second chance, but that evolved into TMP, which I wanted to avoid getting into because that deals with the movies, not TNG itself. Please understand that I had to do a lot of condensing & paraphrasing above so that I didn't take up TOO much space! (When I get around to reviewing [a] refit-Enterprise- of which I have one in my sights as i write this!- I will delve more into the "Phase II" aspects as it is more relevant there.) I was trying to say that TNG was the way to get the world exposed to a weekly TV series a second time because Star Trek hadn't been on the air since 1969. (Yes, I did forget about TAS, but considering that almost none of it is canon...)

Unfortunately, I do not have a full understanding of marketing trends from anywhere before around 1990, so I may have misrepresented that.
I was also under the impression that, while liked enough to become a cult classic which evolved into pop culture, TOS was not well known- beyond Trekkies themselves- during its initial run in the 60s, gaining its main popularity through reruns and word-of-mouth.

Perhaps I did phrase it wrongly when I said TNG elevated the franchise above anything that came before it. I was trying to say it was one of the very few Cinderella stories in Hollywood which surpassed its predecessor (TOS specifically) rather than simply matching it.

Please believe me, The Big R, when I say I am quite aware of many of the behind-the-scenes and trivia of Star Trek from before TNG, but a lot of that was unnecessary for the sake of this review. I will gladly admit humility and say I am not a top expert in trivia, but I feel I have a good enough grasp to be able to sort out what was and was not needed for this review.
I thank you, regardless, for your clarifications. Some of this I was not aware of!

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 14 December, 2010 - 16:28
Nice review, I've always

Nice review, I've always wanted a display set of all the Enterprises right up to "E" in the same scale but that seems pretty hard to get with the larger ships being in the smaller scale. As far as I know, it's been awhile since I've built any Star Trek models so maybe there was a release of all the Enterprises with-in the same scale. Still the Enterprise "D" is one of the most iconic space ships out there, along with the original, Millennium Falcon, and X-Wing ships in my opinion.

CHEN's picture
Posted by CHEN on 14 December, 2010 - 16:51
I'm holding off on DST's

I'm holding off on DST's Ent-E in case they re-release an updated version that deals with the FAIL'd warp nacelle grilles I've heard about.
Next in my sights are the TWoK Phaser & refit-Ent. However, as a new refit-Ent is being made now, I may hold on that as well. We know for certain an Excelsior is on the way (I wouldn't want the Ent-B, despite it's name), as well as a Klingon BoP.

I think an American modeling company made a bunch of in-scale Enterprise sets (TOS through -E) in the 90s, but the refit and TOS were too big even then.
I think the small-scale refit-Enterprises that Playmates Toys recently made in 2009 are in-scale with the DST Ent-D here, but I haven't seen them for a while so I'm not sure.

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 14 December, 2010 - 23:55
I paid five bucks for the

I paid five bucks for the playmates Enterprise from two years ago, and still felt like I got ripped off. This toy give me hope.

Otherwise, hell yeah, Trek is for real. Anyone remember those CREATION cons back in the eighties? All that Kirk/ Spock fan fiction stills creeps me out just thinking about it.

Materialist Zen's picture
Posted by Materialist Zen on 14 December, 2010 - 23:04
Enterprise D: The Love Boat of the Stars

Well done review of the Enterprise D Eva.

I must say that I had some mixed feelings about the starship & TNG series all the way back to Seasons 1 & 2. I always felt that the Enterprise D as an intergalactic luxury liner version of the MV Boudicca. As I reminiscent about this, I've felt that the early seasons of TNG had this whimsy, pitch vibe as The Love Boat in Space. In other words, it was much like "Star Trek Meets The Love Boat" kind of show.

Not that it was a bad thing for me since that I've found it quite a delightful format to watch. Then the vibe had faded away as the show progressed into a boring, meticulous drama with slow, boring elevator music, slow-paced situations, and heavy techno-babble which explains Jonathan (Riker) Frakes & Brent(Data)Spiner's heavy gaspings from all that babble-talk. Only the Enterprise D remained for the entire series as a souvenir from that Love Boat vibe until it sort of resurfaced from the TNG movies.

Anyway, yeah...Enterprise D I always liked, but there's currently a part of me that finds it hard to believe that a design like that suits as government attire for exploring the final frontier if not defending the known frontier like The UFP always does. It just sticks out as The Loooove Boooaat! to me. Perhaps I wouldn't feel this way if TNG didn't had parents & kids on board...especially Wesley Crusher.

Diakron's picture
Posted by Diakron on 15 December, 2010 - 01:26
I don't have any of TNG on

I don't have any of TNG on DVD (I want to someday so I can review 'em!), but I did get the "Star Trek Generations: Special Collector's Edition" boxed set (I have all of them, BTW), and it was there that my eyes were really opened as to many of the behind-the-scenes ideas from the show (even though the commentary obviously focused on the movie itself), including the audacity of having families aboard, and the constrictions of television writing, production, & editing. Series/movie writers Ron Moore & Brannon Braga had some great insight during their commentary, and it helped bring me forward quite a bit from the nostalgic-child worship point of view I'd had up to that point into what I have today.

Nowadays, I look on the franchise as a whole- including the 2009 reboot- and I realize that it has lost something significant that it had during TOS. While stuff like Okudagrams & Westmore aliens & Zimmerman's work maintain this, the thing that [Starfleet at least] has changed is form-over-function (something I brushed on in my TOS Phaser video).
TOS Art Director Matt Jefferies was very deliberate from an engineering standpoint to make the Enterprise as 'realistic' as possible. While she may not have been designed to regularly travel in atmosphere, a smooth hull still makes sense. Simple geometric shapes & curves were used. And while this may look dated only because she was created in the '60s, the Enterprise and everything aboard her was practical. While everything that came after maintained the science aspects of TOS, the visual style(s) changed dramatically.
I've read online that at the premier of TMP, Jefferies fell asleep because it was so visually un-stimulating, and then he intentionally never saw any of the films afterwords for the same reason. (Whether this is true or not I cannot say!)

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 15 December, 2010 - 02:16
I agree that with each

I agree that with each iteration the Enterprise became more "luxurious" and maybe a little softer than the last version with just more "stuff" but I think that's just natural progression, look at cars nowadays. I do think that it lost that certain military purposeful look and became all round and soft and like some people say became a luxury liner. It came back to it's roots somewhat with the Enterprise "E" but that ship gets trashed in every movie it's in and with no more ST-TNG movies coming out it's a dead design. I will say though out of every Star Trek series released my favorite is still DS9, especially the last few seasons and the Defiant is a ship that actually suits a military/exploration organization like Starfleet.

CHEN's picture
Posted by CHEN on 15 December, 2010 - 17:04
I'm gonna put on my big time

I'm gonna put on my big time Star Trek nerd hat to address the notion about the ships getting softer and more luxurious. :-)

The Enterprise is a favorite ship of mine. Right up there with the Yamato/Argo. In fact, I just purchased a new book about her called an "Owners' Workshop Manual". It covers all the ships to bear the name Enterprise. And if you look at them all, from the NX-01 to the E, all the ships have been functional and militaristic. The D is the clear exception.

It was all about timing. The D was launched in 2363, during a period of unprecedented peace. The Khitomer Accords ended hostilities with the Klingons in 2293. And the Treaty of Algernon in 2311 secured the border with the Romulans. So that's 50-70 years of peace (the Dominion and Borg were unknown at this time). Enough time to cause a major shift in thinking, resulting in civilians aboard Starfleet ships. And a move towards longer missions.

The D was designed to go up to 7 years without visiting a starbase for refurbishment. To keep the crew relaxed during such a long mission, pastel colors, muted lighting, quieter work spaces (no pings and bleeps on the bridge!), and more luxurious materials (wood on the bridge) were used.

Note that the E was designed specifically to fight the Borg, and it's interior reflects that. That bridge is all business (back to gunmetal and such). So the "softness" of the D was a one-time thing. And the B and C ships had the same general vibe as the original.

/nerdhat

japester's picture
Posted by japester on 16 December, 2010 - 00:36
Oh, I completely agree with

Oh, I completely agree with all of that. But, as I stated, the Galaxy-class was the experiment.

Considering that three of the original six ships (Galaxy, Enterprise, & Yamato) were destroyed within the first seven years of their debut (for various reasons, of course) would have been a good reason for Starfleet to pull back the civilian hospitality, whether implementing new stratagem for the Borg and Dominion-or-not. The Galaxy-class was definitely a luxury cruise liner in Starfleet, no doubt there. To even be posted to one of these ships was both a great privilege & honor!

And really, japester, when I said "form-over function", I was simply talking visual design for a TV series or movie, not practicality in Starfleet's eyes!

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 16 December, 2010 - 01:50
Risa

"Did I just start a bomb debate? Ohhh Boy!" Says Captain Archer, HA! Sorry, I just couldn't resist a corny nerd joke. Man, if what you've surmised is the case for Enterprise D, then I've failed to see why the D crew bother to go to Risa for R&R in the first place. It's the most luxurious pleasure planet in the Alpha Quadrant. A ship like Enterprise D with all the condiments of a luxury liner would probably make any crew member too complacent to go for a holiday retreat. I mean they got The Holodeck for peace's sake. Who needs Risa when you got a Galaxy-Class starship? Not Reginald Barclay that's for sure b/c he's married to a Holodeck.

Diakron's picture
Posted by Diakron on 16 December, 2010 - 03:05
I take it you've never been

I take it you've never been on a luxury liner? LOL. I have, and I can tell you that after a few days you BEG to get off, even if just to stretch your legs. Now if you were on that liner for a few years......

japester's picture
Posted by japester on 16 December, 2010 - 04:28
Luxury Liner?

Nope, I've never been on one. If I were on one, I would get seasick unless it's got a Holodeck.

Diakron's picture
Posted by Diakron on 16 December, 2010 - 14:15
Oh I agree that at the time

Oh I agree that at the time the "D" came out it was a for the most part a time of peace, but still it was a exploration vessle that is suppose to chart unknown parts of the Galaxy so who knows what new dangers they could face. I know having family on board for such a long time was an experiment and to keep crew happy plus I think it was a little bit of arrogance on Starfleets part since at the time they thought they were pretty much at the top and could handle any situation. Which unfortunately the Romulans, Q and the Borg taught them a hard lesson. Still the "D" is one of my favorite ships ever.

CHEN's picture
Posted by CHEN on 16 December, 2010 - 07:09
FRAK me. I should have picked up this up when it was $40.

When did it's value on Amazon suddenly jump to $200+?!?

pinoy78's picture
Posted by pinoy78 on 17 December, 2010 - 03:08
I don't know about the Amazon

I don't know about the Amazon price, but it wouldn't surprise me much. Since DST started making these, they are cheap-yet-good quality replicas, and these are TREKKIES we're talking about here, it's no surprise that the aftermarket for these are through the roof.

You can bet that with the arrival of the Excelsior (Ent-B, I still don't know?) and Klingon Bird of Prey coming in 2011, they will be vacated from the shelves even faster!

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 17 December, 2010 - 16:05
Christmas

Christmas, man. Everything blows up in price in the weeks before christmas. Take a look at how much even things like Lion Voltrons were going for. ST stuff blows up in price every year around this time. Crazy!

The Big R's picture
Posted by The Big R on 20 December, 2010 - 18:48
 
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